IRASBURG — A propane tanker accident on Monday morning has led to road closures and evacuations in Irasburg and Coventry. The tanker veered off the Vermont Route 14 bridge over the Black River in Irasburg around 6:50 a.m. and caught fire, which was still burning as of 10:30 a.m.
Due to the crash, safety mechanisms in the vehicle were compromised, raising the risk of an explosion. The Vermont Hazardous Materials Response Team has been activated, with an expert en route from Concord, New Hampshire.
Fortunately, no injuries have been reported, including to the driver of the tanker.
Road closures include Vermont Route 14 and Route 58 in Irasburg, Alderbrook Road and Vermont Route 14 in Coventry, and U.S. Route 5 and Vermont Route 14 in Coventry. A one-mile perimeter around the crash site has been established for evacuations, led by local fire departments. Within this zone, Coventry Village School and New Hope Bible School have dismissed students early.
The VT ALERT system is being used to communicate public safety messages to residents in the affected area. Extended road closures are anticipated, and the public is advised to avoid the area and seek alternate routes.
The crash is under investigation by the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Enforcement and Safety Division. First responders at the scene include DMV Enforcement, the Vermont State Police, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, the Vermont Hazardous Materials Team, and fire departments from Derby Line, Irasburg, Newport, and Orleans.
The Vermont State Police will provide updates on public safety and road closures as the situation progresses. DMV Enforcement will release information regarding the crash investigation.